Squid Game was the 2021 outbreak pop culture phenomenon that landed on Netflix after people spent a year and a half grappling with a global pandemic and were reportedly in the mood for a depressing Korean dystopian drama. But since the first season remained fairly open-ended, viewers have been eagerly awaiting the second season.
The good news is that creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, who also directed the series, is in final talks with Netflix for the second season. But unfortunately, the less good news is that he doesn’t expect it to be out until late 2023 or 2024 and so far only has “three pages full of ideas that he wants to turn into a script.”
In a new one vanity fair Profile with Hwang and stars Lee Jung-jae (Seong Gi-hun), Park Hae-soo (Cho Sang-woo) and HoYeon Jung (Kang Sae-byeok), the creator and cast discussed their newfound fame outside Koreas and speculated What a second Squid Games could look like.
“Humanity will be tested once again by these games,” Hwang said, adding that Gi-hun is “definitely coming back” and that the mystery frontman from the first round of games may or may not play a bigger role next season . And despite the fact that Gi-hun and Sang-woo have died – or at least appear to have died – Lee has ideas on how to bring them back next season.
What do the actors themselves hope to see in a second season? “I just want Gi-hun to have a happier life,” says Hoyeon. Sae-byeok and Sang-woo appear to have died, but Lee hopes that Sae-byeok has a twin sister and that Sang-woo was indeed kidnapped by the game agents in time to keep him alive so he can work with Hoyeon and park again. For his part, Park says his big hope is that Korean shows and films will reach even more people.
But plot and characters aside, Hwang also has thematic ideas for the second season, which might sound only slightly depressing?
Asked if the second season of Squid Game will have the same thematic focus, says Hwang: “I want to ask the question: ‘Is true solidarity between people possible?’ ” As we live in this time of global crisis, Hwang is clear that only with solidarity can we meet the challenges facing our species. Toward the end of season one, it seemed increasingly likely that people would have worked together to win as a team rather than fighting for a single winner.
I ask Hwang if he had this message in mind. He says he wanted to leave room for that interpretation, but because the characters in the game were “focused on wanting to kill each other,” they weren’t able to survive as a group. He compares it to humanity’s current situation: Humans seem more like racehorses just trying to outrun each other.
Well, that’s certainly a grim analogy, but probably a pretty good indication of where Squid Games goes to the second season. And with season one arriving post-Trump and in the midst of a global health crisis, everyone can best appreciate how our currently unfolding real-world dystopia might be compared and reflected by then.